West Virginia coach reprimanded for fight in the stands

Image Courtesy: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Image Courtesy: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - West Virginia assistant basketball coach Lester Rowe was reprimanded by the Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby for his role in a fight that broke out following the Mountaineers' 59-56 victory at Hawaii.

The fight came to a head at the conclusion of the game when, reportedly, an unruly fan approached the WVU bench. Things quickly escalated with numerous fans and school officials caught in a melee of pushing, shoving and swinging fists. University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay suffered injuries that left him hospitalized. A CT scan later revealed broken vertebrae in his back and bleeding near his kidney. He has since been released and is resting at home.

The University of Hawaii declined comment at the time of this article, although, Jay did tweet the following: "We're gathering photos and video of the incident. Will identify the fan involved."

WVU athletics director Oliver Luck supported Bowslby's reprimand and said any disciplinary measures against Rowe "will be handled internally."

"It was an unfortunate situation that occurred on Sunday prior to the trophy ceremony at the conclusion of the tournament at the University of Hawaii," Luck said. "The incident has been reviewed by the appropriate individuals and I consider the matter closed."

"Coach Rowe violated Conference rules that prohibit coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from committing abusive acts toward an opponent's fans," said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  "Coaches have the responsibility to refrain from behavior that incites negative fan conduct.  Coach Rowe is also put on notice that future incidents may result in a more serious penalty."

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